Yorkshire Woollen District Transport
Guy Arab II 6LW
Not the best photo but the subject is, this Guy was ex Maidstone & District. From my research there seems to some information that it was re-bodied in 1952 but nine years is not a long time to require a new body unless it was a single decker originally. Photo taken at Dewsbury bus station on a very dull wet day.
If you know about the re-body issue or have information about the bus when at Maidstone & District please let me know.
The early re-bodying issue is simple. Almost all bus bodies built from the middle war years used unseasoned (green) wood and sheet steel. The austerity design only required semi-skilled labour, hence no panel-beating and the bodies were only single-skinned inside. Even the ‘green’ wood provided was not what the bodies would usually be built from, such as ash. Thus, the bodies rusted and the wood framing literally disappeared with the years passing. At least, this was the experience of London Transport, who gave up their usual high standard of body maintenance on these vehicles as too expensive and disposed of the vehicles with indecent haste around 1952-53! Ironically, the chassis would have lasted forever! Oddly, Northern Counties were given permission to continue building metal-framed bodies during the war, which did make their bodies more durable than the others.
Chris is right. Bodywork built during wartime was to a "Utility" design necessitated by the circumstances at the time, and most were clapped out by the early 1950s. This one was originally built in 1943 with a Weymann utility body, and was one of eight acquired by Yorkshire Woollen from Maidstone & District in 1945 as a direct swap for the same number of Daimlers which had been allocated, but not delivered, to Yorkshire. All the Guys were rebodied by Roe between December 1952 and January 1955, with this particular one being done in January 1953.
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